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Legends Of Zyconia Part 3
The Makings Of An Army
Terrek paused as he reached the large sundial at the entrance to the Council's castle. The glittering lights of Victory City could be seen for miles. They could barely see the city walls, which they had entered not long ago. The ruling Council's castle sat atop a large hill surrounded by many smaller castles and stone houses as far as the eye could see in every direction. The walls of the city were extremely thick and high and there were fifty guard towers, twenty-live catapults and ten huge crossbows mounted on the top of the wall at intervals all the way around the city. Victory City had great protection from it's enemies.
Terrek was home. He dismounted from Streak, being careful not to cause Diana to fall off and heavily landed the huge bronze knocker several times and stood back to await a response. Soon one of Terrek's friends from the city, John, allowed them entry. John was shorter than Terrek but he was still very strong and muscular. He wore a suit of chainmail as well as a few sections of vital armor.
"Follow me, the Council requested your presence when you arrived," John said smiling.
He led them down the great hall and up numerous flights of stairs before reaching the door to the ruling Council chambers. The guards at the door, familiar with Terrek, stood aside to allow him entry. They all entered as he walked to the center of the room, a huge horseshoe shaped table surrounded him as twenty-five men stared directly at him. There was total silence, as if they had been frozen in time, and for a few moments Terrek almost thought they had been.
"So, you are ready for the quest." the comment came from a bearded man named Walker at the apex of the horseshoe, one of the more influential members of the Ruling Council.
"What'?" exclaimed Terrek.
"Here's your explanation. Terrek," Walker voiced his concern. "The evil Vicar, ruler of the Forest of Darkness is trying to locate the ancient crystals of Zyconia."
"But I thought his powers only existed Within the Forest of Darkness," Terrek interrupted.
"We believe his powers are growing. There have been sightings of his Sorcerer and Warlock hordes," Walker replied as he continued.
"About a week ago we lost contact with Cantaro castle and soon after Alexium and Cardina Castle. These are our closest outposts to the Forest of darkness, each one held about a hundred soldiers. If the Vicar recovers the crystals he would gain immense power and may be able to launch an attack on one of our cities." he finished.
"Or all of them." muttered another council member.
"So, you want me to find the crystals before the Vicar, and you want me to do this alone?" asked Terrek.
"No, not alone. Alone this would be impossible. We have gathered an army of two-hundred of the most skillful warriors in Zyconia. You leave tomorrow...if you accept the quest." finished Walker.
Terrek thought for a moment.
"I accept on the condition that I be allowed to have certain people to accompany me as advisors or chief aides." Terrek said.
Walker looked around for objection from the others.
"Who?' he asked.
"To begin with, these three." Terra indicated pointing toward Diana, Perrin. and John.
"The rest I'll collect myself, they all live in Victory City."
"Very well. Be in the northern courtyard at dawn, your army will be provisioned and ready to command by then. I would ask that your friends step outside while we give you secret details vital to your success." Terrek nodded, and Diana, Perrin and John exited.
Soon after, Terrek rejoined them outside accompanied by a soldier.
Terrek spoke with his associates, "John, Perrin I'd like you two to stay here at the castle to help organize the army before dawn. Diana and I will descend to the inner city to collect the remainder of my trusted friends."
They both nodded as the soldier with Terrek led them down the hallway. Diana and Terrek descended the staircase.
"Diana," Terrek began, "I didn't ask you if you wished to join us in this quest, so you shouldn't feel bound. I just have a strange feeling that I can trust you and you also have healing abilities. But if you still wish me to help you locate your relatives, so that you may go and stay with them I'll do my best."
"I feel very honored that you want me to go with you. And I do want to remain with you," she said looking into his eyes.
"Thank you Diana, that means a lot to me," he nodded.
Hours later in a deserted part of Victory City an elderly man sat alone praying. He sat in the garden near his home, a large stone building surrounded by a field. The old man was a prophet and his home a temple. The teacher of several followers, he was a great seer and a good man. The man's age was unknown but he had seen many years since his birth. His robes, dark blue, fluttered in the wind. Long white hair and a long white beard dangled from his face. A golden sceptre rested in his unsteady hands.
Suddenly his solitude was interrupted by the call of his name, "Zyron!"
The prophet turned and thced a small group of people: the man in front was the only truly familiar face.
"We need your help," said Terrek as he advanced away from the group towards the old man.
The prophet stood and faced them, his eyes on the group behind Terrek. There was a woman, the most beautiful he had seen in many years, she had raven black hair, and her figure was very slender and voluptuous. Zyron sensed that she had a beautiful voice. The next person in the group seemed familiar from the past, he was a massive giant and extremely muscular. The other three appeared to be swordsmen Zyron didn't think he knew any of them. Zyron returned his eyes to Terrek.
"So you're back boy," Zyron breathed.
"Yes Zyron I need you to come with us, we must stop the Vicar," replied Terrek.
"The Vicar? I'm too old boy. I've lost all my past vigor; I am not strong like you. Leave me alone to die. I've lived too many years, I can't go with you on your quest it's too much for someone as old as I." Zyron moaned.
"You're never too old to fight for what's right and good, it was you who taught me that. I need your help now more than I ever did in the past. I can't take this quest on alone," Terrek said sternly.
"Why not? You've gone on very dangerous missions before, why do you need me?" asked Zyron.
"I need you because you wield the power of good and you're a great seer. You know the Maker and know how to deal with and resist evil power," he explained.
"I - I can not...I am too old, the power will not be used through me much longer. I can't go with you. I'm sorry," he whispered.
Terrek stood. perplexed he looked to his nearby group of friends then stared back at Zyron who had turned away from him.
"If you change your mind, be in the northern courtyard of the council's castle by dawn." Terrek turned and walked out of the garden towards his horse, the group he had gathered in the previous hours, looking very puzzled, also turned and left.
Outside the group mounted their horses.
The giant began to speak, "I would have thought that Zyron would always help you, Terrek."
Terrek turned to his old friend, who rode a very large horse to support his body. "Zyron is well past the one hundred mark. I suppose he is right, he is too old Hemoth." Terrek sighed.
Terrek switched his thoughts to his old friends. Hemoth was a huge giant. Terrek himself only stood slightly past his chest. When Terrek was seventeen Hemoth had saved his life. Hemoth had met Zyron many years back when he came with Terrek a couple of times to visit Zyron. Although Hemoth was extremely strong and muscular he had no experience with a sword and relied heavily on his club and dagger. Terrek knew that Hemoth's strength would be a great asset on the quest.
The other three were swordsmen and brothers: Zachary the oldest had been one of his best friends for the last few years. Zachary was part of the Council's elite army as was Terrek and Perrin, and although he could not wield a sword quite as well as Terrek, he was still one of the best in Zyconia. The other two men were good bowmen. and they also had some experience with a sword. Their names were Jason and Adam. Although they were in the regular forces they had performed small secret missions for the Council's elite army. Not long ago Terrek helped them fend off a horde of ghouls who had gotten the better of them south of the Ghoul swamp.
Terrek was pulled from his thoughts by Diana's voice. "Terrek. who was that prophet? How do you know him? You act as though you have known him for a long time.''
"I'll tell you later. Right now we have to get back to the castle and help organize the army before dawn." he whispered to her.
Terrek nudged Streak. and Diana held tighter as the horse galloped faster. The others followed suit to keep up.
TO BE CONTINUED...
TO READ FROM THE BEGINNING GO TO: LEGENDS OF ZYCONIA PART 1
TO READ THE PREVIOUS PART GO TO: LEGENDS OF ZYCONIA PART 2
TO READ THE NEXT PART GO TO: LEGENDS OF ZYCONIA PART 4